Design

Have a Relaxing Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? My dad is coming to visit, since it’s his birthday on Sunday. The boys are psyched to put all 67 candles on the cake and help him blow them out. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Hello, spring dress!

Bon Appetit just featured 14 essential kitchen tips, including this surprising-to-me one: “How to revive stale bread. For crusty boules, sturdy sourdoughs, and other artisanal loaves, run the day- or two-day-old bread under running water for a few seconds, then reheat in 350° oven until heated through and crisp on the outside.” Have you ever tried this?

Every decision my kids made me make in a day, haha.

These shag cakes are really cool.

What are you reading these days? I just started Drinking Coffee Elsewhere and am loving Z.Z. Packer’s funny, smart voice.

Sweden has gender-neutral preschools: “Two schools rolled out what was called a compensatory gender strategy. Boys and girls at the preschools were separated for part of the day and coached in traits associated with the other gender. Boys massaged each other’s feet. Girls were led in barefoot walks in the snow, and told to throw open the window and scream.” (NYT)

What lovely wallpaper.

Heartbreaking.

How to turn one flower bouquet into a bunch of arrangements.

Plus, a helpful reader comment:

Says Ava on a an epic cheeseboard: “When buying brie, give it a light squeeze before you buy it. It shouldn’t be too firm in the middle. It should be squishy. That’s made the difference for me between a good brie and a heavenly one.”

Says Lisa: “Among my favorite books since the new year is I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice. Her story inspires me to daydream and to say what I need and to make no apologies. Among the many jewels in the book is this: ‘…Daydreaming is a valued skill in our home. Dare to interrupt it. ‘Momma, you just broke an important daydream,’ Raife, my eight-year old will scold. ‘Sorry, I will say, with real regret.’”

(Photo by Lena Corwin. Shag cakes via Of a Kind.)

  1. Julia says...

    Love the link on kitchen tips! On #8 (how to boil a large egg), my father taught me the best trick: Pierce the egg with a thumbtack just before placing it in boiling water. It lets air in while cooking and the shell slides off during peeling. It’s like magic!

  2. Jen says...

    I have recently tried the ‘water on stale bread’ trick and it worked like a charm! I put a baguette in the freezer when we didn’t end up using it – and then tried the trick in a pinch when we didn’t have any bread and was pleasantly surprised – delicious crispy bread out of the oven! Loved it!

  3. Jen says...

    The stale bread technique absolutely works! My family spent last summer in the French country side with friends. Each morning we would trek to the local bakery to pack our arms full of baguettes that we would eat throughout the day. By evening, once the kids were asleep, we would “revive” any leftovers, in this exact manner, to pair with wine & cheese for a late-night snack. A beautifully glutinous habit that resulted in an extra 15lbs, but worth every bite!

  4. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is one of my all-time favorite short story collection. That Brownies story is too much. I might have to go and read it again.

  5. Nicole says...

    My comment wouldn’t fit on Joanna’s Instagram post about Maine, so hoping it makes it to her here :) I’m a Southern CA native (from SD, now in LA for the past 8 years) and my husband and I visited Maine last summer with two other couples. I’ve loved many of your travel tips/recommendations over the years, hopefully these can be helpful to you! We went for a week and stayed in Portland and Bar Harbor. In Portland we stayed at an AWESOME Airbnb in a very central, walkable location (www.airbnb.com/rooms/14487758). Visit Cape Elizabeth and the Portland Head Light. We also liked renting bikes and doing the Back Cove Trail loop. Maine BayCycle was fun for a few hours out on the water. There is SO much good food and beer in Portland, but some of our favorites and MUST visits are Allagash Brewery (best lobster roll we had in Maine at the Bite Into Maine food truck there), Tandem Coffee, Holy Donut, Eventide, Urban Farm Fermentory and Blythe and Burrows. The Gus & Ruby store is very cute too. We also wanted to check out More & Co, which I saw on your Portland City Guide. You cannot go wrong with a few days in Portland. There is tons to do and eat and it is a great city! We loved Acadia National Park. It is STUNNING and worth visiting, but Bar Harbor is very touristy and there isn’t anything too interesting going on there. Think hard before going all the way up there because it is a long drive. If you do go, spend as much time as possible in the park and get there EARLY! The days we got to the park early it was really nice because there was no one around! It starts to get packed around 11am. Definitely worth it to wake up early to see the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain and we did an awesome afternoon sail with Sail Acadia out of Northeast Harbor. We also liked stopping at the LL Bean headquarters on the drive from Portland to Bar Harbor. At the end of our trip we said that for our next trip to Maine we’d want to fly in and out of Portland to spend some time there and then rent a house in Kennebunkport and relax and explore from there. Maine is awesome!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!!!!!!

  6. Amy says...

    Maybe I’m just hopelessly old-fashioned, but I find the idea of a preschool where children, either boys or girls, are being given instructions and assignments to massage other children’s feet or scream out of a window very strange and not normal forms of school socialization for anyone in any culture. My children (3 boys, 1 girl ages 6-1) all run around barefoot in the snow, mud, sand etc at their whim, yell and holler PLENTY :D They are very sweet about cuddling babies, and giving hugs and love to siblings, friends and other loved ones but the thought of making assignments out of these sorts of things is actually almost alarming and I would guess very confusing for childen. Isn’t pre-school a time to celebrate the playful self discovery children all naturally engage in when in a safe, caring nurturing environment? Dress ups, baking, woodworking, art etc are all fabulous ways for ALL CHILDREN to enjoy as they discover for themselves what they enjoy and who they are without needing somewhat bizarre and arbitrary outside assignments imposed on them by adults.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      when i read your comment, it sounded absurd, i agree, haha — but if you have a chance to read the full article about what was happening in the schools, their approach seems really aware, inclusive and empowering (and less dramatic:) they were responding to the kids’ growing awareness of gender roles at that young age.

    • Katha says...

      “Dress ups, baking, woodworking, art etc are all fabulous ways for ALL CHILDREN to enjoy as they discover for themselves what they enjoy and who they are without needing somewhat bizarre and arbitrary outside assignments imposed on them by adults.”

      Yes to that.
      But I fear that’s not what’s happening most oft the time.

      Just the other day we were visting extended family. My two year old daughter grabbed a toy car and started playing. One of the other parents around commented by saying something like “Oh look, she’s playing like a boy.”
      That. That seemingly innocent comment made me furious inside (and no, I did not say anything). Because that’s what’s wrong in lots of peoples heads – and actions towards kids.

    • Tracey Rae Beal says...

      I don’t understand any of this. I read the whole article. I am one half of a same sex marriage and we have one boy and one girl both 4 years old and in preschool. We don’t conform to gender norms but my gosh never have we seen preschool boys unwilling to paint b/c it is a girls activity or girls of this age painting makeup. the only thing we see is our kids sometimes drawing penises on pictures do differentiate who has a penis and who doesn’t. if someone makes fun of our son for dressing like a princess we just say shut up he can be a princess if he wants.

      i guess my point is it is good they are trying to counter balance the societal norms but what the heck are the societal norms that they have to work so hard to counter balance? and also, yes amy i completely agree!

      and also Katha why wouldn’t you say something? maybe in our family we are accustomed to defending who we are but everyone stand up for what you believe is right!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, so fascinating!

  7. RLG says...

    I just bought my dear friend’s memoir, Monsoon Mansion, and cannot wait to dig in. I’m so proud of her for writing about and sharing her complicated life.

  8. Nigerian Girl says...

    “Geese” by ZZ Packer is one of my all-time favourite short stories. I hope you love it too, Joanna. Have a great weekend.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      can’t wait! thank you!

  9. I’m curious to know, why “The great saddness of Ben Affleck” post? My initial take away was, ‘Okay, Ben Affleck was a sexist pig, similar to Weinstein?, and now he’s finally facing the consequences.’ But maybe I am off, or maybe there is more to it?

  10. Candice says...

    I feel like The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck is mean spirited.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you know, i think you’re right. at first, i thought it was written in such a funny way, but you’re right. i’m going to take it off. thank you. xo

  11. Sylvia says...

    Just realized that (of course) not everybody knows how to keep bread (and buns, cake, …) soft or/and crispy, elongate the life of it and revive it. As a german this feels like a no-brainer. Always fun to have those moments.

  12. When I saw ‘shag cake’ my brain went to the wrong place entirely.

    • hahahaha

  13. Mimi says...

    I’m curious as to the absence of any recognition of Easter (or other holidays- Passover, for example). If I’m recalling correctly, I think mentions of even Christmas/Hanukkah/Ramadan were missing from this blog. I love cupofjo, and would love to see linked articles to these topics, or better yet- original posts.
    Thanks for a great blog!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we mention celebrating christmas with our family sometimes, but otherwise generally don’t recognize/endorse one particular religion on CoJ, since our readers celebrate many different holidays/religions/cultures/etc. we do, of course, encourage people we interview to discuss their faiths and beliefs, and we may write more about religion in the future. thank you so much for your note of interest!

    • Sasha says...

      I’ve noticed this too, and really appreciate the lack of emphasis on religious holidays. It’s just not necessary.

  14. Emilie says...

    In reference to the Japanese women, there is a great cafe near my work in Philly that is dedicated to inter-generational community. It’s called Frieda and it is the best! I love that it combats loneliness and supports the idea that older adults have plenty to contribute to society. They hire elderly hosts alongside twenty-something servers, and provide living wages to all. There is no wi-fi but they have communal tables and offer classes and meet-ups seven days a week. So refreshing to seeing hipsters, parents with babies, and elderly folks all talking and hanging out together.

    • C says...

      I live in Philly and LOVE Frieda! It’s a really lovely concept, and such a lovely space to eat and spend time.

    • Sasha says...

      Such a great idea, I hope it catches on in more places.

    • Caitlyn says...

      I work in Geriatrics and I am really excited to learn more about this cafe. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Yvonne says...

    How wonderful! Happy Birthday to your dad! Sounds like a fun time for everyone.

  16. Judith says...

    I looked at the link for the Madewell dress, so cute, but then on Madewell I found the grey t-shirt dress I feel I been have been looking for forever! So thanks and Happy Easter.

  17. Lindsay says...

    I’m on a vacation right now, currently in Kyoto seeing beautiful Sakura (cherry blossoms) at thier peak. I did not care for that article about Ben affleck. It was so mean spirited. I’m surprised you highlighted It. I’m sure many people knew Weinstein was a creep but didn’t know the details or thought it to be a rumor.

  18. This weekend is all about family for me – we had a nice dinner on friday with my wife’s family and then tomorrow we are going over to my parents and then going for and easter egg hunt here in Burlington.

  19. The Bon Appetit recommendations for hard boiling eggs have been life changing. Jammy eggs 4 life!

    Also, just picked up The Girl Who Smiled Bead: A Story of War and What Comes After, after I read about it in Vogue. It’s a Book of the Month selection!

    I hadn’t heard of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, and it sounds lovely! (And ok…I really love the cover!)

  20. myung says...

    I’m not sure what the writer’s intent was in the article about Ben Affleck. Particularly, “The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man.” I don’t believe nor want men to fall for women or others to rise. I want to lift them up, so we can all be better. They are part of my community– our husbands, brothers, colleagues, neighbors…
    In this fight against The Man, have we lost our humanity, our compassion? I am not ignoring or excusing his offenses, but where is the sympathy for him as a whole man, a whole person? Frankly, I’m tired of the dyadic dialogues happening around me.

    • Lindsay says...

      Thank you for articulating what I was feeling!

    • Natalie says...

      Yes!

  21. Hannah L says...

    When I read the brie buying trick, both times,I thought it said ‘bra’. Haha

    …The trick works for both in case anyone was curious.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha good point!

  22. Merideth says...

    Perhaps I don’t understand the Ben Affleck article correctly. Who is this person who takes a person living his life and changes it into her own entertainment and advancement? Why is this promoted as something we should read? If I were photographed on a beach, I wouldn’t want someone to construct a sad story with their own projections on it. People should be left to live their lives and I don’t believe CoJ should promote this type of writing – it’s almost as if saying “Look at this poor guy, this schmuck! He used to be somebody but now he’s a nobody!” We are all somebody. We all matter. We all are learning and growing. We don’t need to ostracize others.

  23. I’ve been tracking my decisions this month – and decision fatigue is real! The article on kids and decisions had me laughing. So many possible choices, so little time. :) Great collection of pieces this week.

  24. Marie says...

    That Bon Appétit article lost me at “always reach for unsalted butted”. What???!! I think I heard my French passport screaming in pain.
    Why, why, why, WHY would you do that?

    • Sasha says...

      I also followed this rule, but then I started noticing that at Costco at least, where I buy butter, the unsalted has an additive. So I started buying salted. And I like it better!! I know a lot of folks limit salt intake, but I’m always looking to up mine because I have low blood pressure that makes me feel unwell, and I’m not a processed foods or a salty foods eater.

    • Marie says...

      Salted butter makes the world go round. If it’s going to be unsalted, then what’s the point in having butter – when there are tons of other, healthier oil options?

  25. Libbynan says...

    My grandmother would wrap stale bread in a damp tea towel and warm it in the oven. After it was warm, she would crisp it without the towel for a few minutes. Both my mom and I have done this all our lives. It is especially effective with anything French…..baguettes, croissants, etc…..or German…..rye, pumpernickel…..

  26. Laura says...

    Shag has a different meaning if you’re from England so I was very curious to see what the shag cake link was going to be. I’m simultaneously relieved and disappointed to see it’s like a shag carpet!! Don’t ask me what I was imagining…

    • Sasha says...

      Haha! My brain went the exact same place! Disappointed….. Wait, relieved.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha

  27. Jona says...

    I finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society this week. Would highly recommend! So life-affirming and delightful. Also one of the few times I would tell you to absolutely read the afterword.

  28. Laura C. says...

    I feel those Japanese women so, so much. I would do the same. It’s heartbreaking though.

  29. Katie says...

    I mostly like Ben Affleck and I’m sorry he’s going through a tough time in life – and being mocked for it. But I gotta tell you I laughed loud and hard several times while reading Naomi Fry’s piece. Her description of Affleck “carrying a small red life preserver, running in the shallow waters” all while sporting his gigantic technicolor back tattoo was too good.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow!!!! and what a beautiful photo :)

    • Sasha says...

      Super pretty! What flavor?

    • Tracey Rae Beal says...

      Emily, after being “over” weddings since my own wedding 8 years ago, your photo triggered in me why weddings are so beautiful! your peace, beauty, love, and detail completely radiated in this one photo. It could easily be on stylemepretty.com but it is better. it is real and equally beautiful and not pretentious. gorge.

      and yes, the cake if fab.

  30. Katherine says...

    My grandma taught me that bread tip maybe 30 years ago. She’s two days off 97, and full of all that practical life know how. She taught me to buy the sweetest cut watermelons too: look for the ones with cracks in the flesh. Grandma has proved to be right about that too!

  31. Sasha says...

    Stale bread? At our house that’s bread pudding ?

    The Japanese women, so sad. I read another article recently about many unintended consequences of falling population/aging population in Japan, it was sobering and sad. I hope that their culture can implement a solution that allows the elderly to feel worthwhile, wanted and like meaningful members of their society. I’ve always thought day cares and preschools should be next to homes for the elderly, so that the older folks might help in the little ones care. We have a center like that in my community and it’s wonderful for all.

    And speaking of preschools, at my home preschool I try so hard to honor the individuality of the children and offer mostly gender neutral lessons and activities. I deliberately don’t have anything that looks like *girls only* toys-pink, purple etc, and walking down the toy aisle at Target is just ridiculous. I have brooms, dusters, baby dolls and accessories, play food, tea set, none are pink. I look for books and stories with inclusive themes, POC, strong girl heroines doing non stereotypical things. I encourage empathy and caregiving in boys (and girls), and strength and courage and daringness in girls (and boys). I don’t compliment girls on their looks, but rather engage about what they find interesting. I hope I provide a place where children can simply grow to be themselves, and feel free and proud about themselves.

  32. Mary says...

    I have done the wet the bread and bake many times with great success. It’s like fresh baked bread!

  33. Ksm says...

    I am not a fan of Ben Affleck and there are many demons within he needs to fight. But this is a kind of bullying that intellectual magazines need to stop doing, coz disguised in fancy words and impeccable language, it is nothing but a Gossip magazine article. Very disappointed in NYorker.
    Let us step away from persecution mentality for a bit, and teach our next generation that if someone makes a mistake, it still does not give everyone the right to persecute them.

  34. Andrea says...

    You can also put stale bread into a paper bag, fold the top and wet the bag before putting it in the oven. Same idea. Very good with rolls.

    • Anastasia says...

      I was just about to leave this comment! All the Italian American women in my family do this with the bread before dinner. Perfection!

  35. Rosalie says...

    I found the Ben Affleck article to be uncomfortable to read – I kept hoping the writer was about to share something positive or at least wish him well. I hope no one writes about me like this or posts articles about me that shine bright lights on my struggles if/when I’m having a hard time in life.

  36. Kate says...

    A bit of an off the wall comment but we’ll be celebrating my fathers 71st birthday this summer and I just turned 29 in March. It’s never bothered me that my dad is a bit older than most my age – I never even think about it! Since it’s my ‘normal’ it’s almost refreshing when I’m reminded of it through small moments like this and in a way, I feel oddly proud of him and my mom. Not sure of what, exactly. Just that I do :)

    • Mei says...

      I am also 29 and my dad is turning 73 this year! He still works and is in good shape, but it was one reason I wanted to have kids now. I love that everyone thinks my son resembles him ☺️

    • Sarah says...

      This is an interesting perspective Kate! I’m 31 and my mom is 71 (dad a little younger) and my mom’s age is actually a source of sadness to me and I think about it at all the time. Whenever I see kids graduating from high school or getting married with their grandparents around, I wonder if my children will get to have my parents around for some of those later-in-life big moments. Also, all of my own grandparents died before I was born, so I’ve never had the experience of having grandparents in my life at all. My husband’s parents are old, too, so we’re anxious to have our kids as early as we can manage it (without losing our minds) and hope to have our parents in their lives as long as possible! Of course there are no guarantees and a grandparent can pass at 60 or live to a happy 100, but it is something I think about a lot. Love your perspective on it! My mom is a healthy, full-time hospice nurse and my dad is also still working, ref-ing soccer games, camping outside, so I suppose there is a lot to be proud of them for.

    • Hannah D says...

      Live in the Foothills of Sac and am with you. Think about him everyday and horror of what he went through.

  37. Elizabeth Barto says...

    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere looks so good! I love seeing that a growing number of diverse authors are finally getting the mainstream acclaim they deserve.

    I just picked up Chelsey Johnson’s book, Stray City, after her reading at Books are Magic. It’s set amidst the gay scene in Portland in the 90s, so it’s chock full of fun bites of nostalgia (karaoke battles! Floppy disks!). But what I’m loving most are her insights, especially on the friend “families” we choose in life. Having just moved to a new city, and feeling more than a little homesick for my old friends, the protagonist, Andrea’s story really resonated with me. It’s the sort of book that feels like a good friend: hilarious, messy, honest and warm.

  38. Alex says...

    A word of warning about lighting all 67 candles at once, if you do in fact want to try it. Be sure you have a big cake! One of my funniest childhood memories was of my mom putting all 38 or so candles on the 8” round cake she baked for my dad and lighting them all. As we sang happy birthday and she made her way to the table with the cake, all of the little flames merged into one giant flame! Mom rushed to the table and through the song and we all helped to blow out the birthday cake bonfire. It made for a great memory!

  39. I recognize those dunes! :)

  40. KSM says...

    The Japanese women article made me really sad but also wonder if such generalization is correct. Where did they find the statistics for that? It seems from the article that this statement “more than half of seniors caught shoplifting live alone; 40 percent either don’t have family or rarely speak with relatives” lead them to draw the conclusion. If they had any other source they would have definitely listed. I find there sources and logic too weak to make such a generalized statement. Makes good write-up and topic of conversation though.

    • MJ says...

      I wondered about the statistics as well … I found an article on Bloomberg (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-16/japan-s-prisons-are-a-haven-for-elderly-women) that had the same stats by Statistics Japan, but couldn’t find them on the Statistics Japan website. Probably not stats they want out for anyone to access. This article also reminded me of another heartbreaking article I read a few weeks ago (with some rather graphic photos) of people dying alone in Japan (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/world/wp/2018/01/24/feature/so-many-japanese-people-die-alone-theres-a-whole-industry-devoted-to-cleaning-up-after-them/?utm_term=.efc380920c76)

    • L says...

      What statistics are you wondering where they came from? I didn’t see many other than the one you mentioned and the one about the aging population. It didn’t read as a quant type study wIth statistics about how many people are in that situation, but more of a qualitative “we talked to some women who described this.” Usually the quant piece comes later, after you talk to some people to find out more about the situation that you are studying.

    • Emily says...

      I agree. I’ve always read that it is an honor for children to take care of their parents and grandparents in Japanese culture. I’ve also read the elderly are seen as treasures and gifts of wisdom. Maybe I’m remembering it wrong, and it was a different Asian culture I read about?

  41. Kim says...

    Joanna please post a pick of the cake with 67 candles! Would love to see that!

  42. Justine says...

    I find the Swedish experiment weird. My son never had to walk barefoot in the snow in his preschool, nor did at any point in my education or rearing as a female include mandatory massaging of anyone’s feet…

    • Justine says...

      Editing to add that I think that the intention is a good one, and I like the notion of teaching girls to take up space and say no, but I’m wonder if this veers too far towards expecting everyone to behave with uniformity, failing to embrace and support different ways of be and existing in the world as individuals.

      I wonder how much of this is guided by gender issues specific to the Swedish culture? My experience of preschool and gender in my part of the worlds was very different. The girls were very assertive and many enjoyed playing with “boy” toys; most of the boys naturally enjoyed playing house, with dolls and arts and crafts. Perhaps they had very enlightened parents, but in my case, we just let of son be who he was and play with what he wanted.

    • Laura says...

      I agree that the intention is probably good but the phrase “intent on muting differences“ really put me off. Differences are what make us unique and special, and that goes for gender as well. It seems unwise to attempt to blur those lines past the point of distinction in the name of equality. The implication of “compensatory” activities also struck me as really problematic. Is being “just” a boy or “just” a girl not enough? We must compensate for the gender we embody?

      At the very least, it’s worth protecting the idea that distinctive gender differences don’t make us inferior.

    • Tanya says...

      This did seem like an interesting way to go about it – they’re still separating boys from girls though, and deciding what activities girls and boys should do based on the “genders” which they are not.

      Waldorf and Montessori (and others) communities often create beautiful environments in which, respectively, everyone does everything or each child chooses their own activities. It really is ok for a girl to wear pink if she likes it and for a boy to play with trucks and dinosaurs, and vice versa.

    • CathyMA says...

      I don’t like it. It seems rather forced to me. I have a son and a daughter very close in age. Neither had any problem dancing, playing, including outside of stereotypical roles, and especially in saying “NO!” I dressed my son in blue and my daughter in pink. It sounds foolish to me that young teacher would feel sorry for them for the color of their wardrobe when she is claiming to be gender neutral. Then why is she admitting the colors are a tradition of gender (BTW, I dont care, I wear mostly blue, I’m just making a point). Of course the article is limited. For instance, it doesn’t explain why the boys at that time didn’t want to paint. Were they interested in something else at the moment? Why squash that and force them to paint? It seems odd to me. Not to mention, gender IS biological. Societal constraints does not eliminate specific hormones our amazing bodies create. Science is still here and no amount of ignoring it will make it go away.
      It’s also astounding to me that this experiment was started by a journalist. Not an MD, or anyone in the medical science or mental health department, not even someone in the field of education. Very interesting.

    • Rebekah says...

      Same here. It seemed so odd. School-assigned massage?! Can we please just treat them all like dignified, intelligent humans without fixating on arbitrary behaviors?

    • Hannah Avery says...

      I too thought it really weird! I feel that we should be honoring their whole person, biology included. How can they be empowered as a girl, or as a boy, if they are being re-educated into thinking like the opposite?

  43. brianna says...

    The article on decision fatigue exhausted me and I don’t even have kids.

    • Erin says...

      My kids are about the same ages as Emma’s, and even though the decision fatigue is real, this age is also so much fun. They can actually help make waffles! They can play card games! Yes, they ask you to hold their mittens 50,000 times, but they no longer randomly run out in traffic!

    • Beth says...

      I read the decision fatigue article on a rare, relaxed night away from my 2-year-old an instantly related. By the time I finished skimming the list my heart was pounding@

  44. Carrie says...

    It bums me out a little that your blog is so famously and wonderfully inclusive, yet Easter was carefully left out of your post today.

    • Hannah Avery says...

      I do think that since so very many people here in America celebrate it in one way or another, whether religiously, or secularly, it would make sense to mention it.

  45. MK says...

    Yes to the watery bread trick 10/10 would do again. Even helpful for frozen bread situations.

  46. lauren says...

    I love the stale bread revival trick – it’s magic! Delicious to heat a loaf until soft and warm on the inside and crisp and hot on the outside…plan to use the trick tonight and put on the side of the rest of our dinner!

    • Liza says...

      Yes!!! I read this in Bon Appetit a few years ago and have been using it ever since. It also works on not-that-fresh Day 1 bread from places like Trader Joe’s and makes it taste like you’ve just bought it at a French boulangerie.

    • Agreed! It’s a great trick… Otherwise I will reserve my stale bread for panzanella or French onion soup…

  47. Kelsey says...

    Just bought that dress! It’s fabulous

    • Carol-Anne Powell says...

      So glad someone did! Tell me: When you sit, are the buttons under your bum? Are they uncomfortable? (am I the only one who wonders this?) Also, is there actually a closure there, or are the buttons just decorative?
      Love the look of this, but so many questions!

  48. Celeste says...

    Happy Easter Cup of Jo! Wow, Affleck article was sad, but Japanese women? Even sadder. I should go over and open a sorority apt building for them.

    • wb says...

      Agreed. Just devastating.